Islamist government OK’d despite boycotts, threats

Libya’s embattled parliament approved Sunday an Islamist-backed government despite boycotts from non-Islamists and threats from a renegade general who considers the chamber illegitimate.

Lawmakers said the government of Ahmed Maiteg passed with a majority vote, with 83 out of 93 present in the session voting in favor.

The parliament session was held amid tight security in a palace east of the capital after the renegade general’s forces said that the legitimacy of the parliament has expired. A spokesman for Gen. Khalifa Hifter had threatened Saturday to attack the parliament session if it convened.

Hifter has launched an armed campaign he said is aimed at imposing stability after three years of chaos since the ouster and death of dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011. He said he wants to break the power of Islamists who lead the parliament, whom he accuses opening the door to Islamic radicals.

The vote Sunday is unlikely to break the standoff between the renegade general’s forces and the Islamists and allied militia who called his moves a “coup.”


Three people dead, fourth wounded in motel shooting

Three people were killed and a fourth person was wounded in a shooting at an oceanfront motel in Myrtle Beach, one of South Carolina’s most popular tourist destinations.

The shootings took place around 11 p.m. Saturday in front of crowds of tourists at the Bermuda Sands Motel along the beach’s new boardwalk, Myrtle Beach Police Capt. David Knipes said.

Officers draped towels over the balcony of a breezeway just outside the doors to the rooms of the motel to shield two of the bodies from people on nearby Ocean Boulevard.

“We’ve got detectives working on it around the clock,” Knipes said Sunday. “We don’t have any suspects in custody.”

Knipes would not say whether detectives have determined a motive for the shooting, but said it didn’t appear to be a random shooting.

The victims were Devonte Dantzler, 21, of Summerville; Sandy Gaddis Barnwell, 22, of Summerville; and Jamie Williams, 28, of Ladson, Horry County deputy coroner Darris Fowler said. The fourth victim, whose condition is not known, was hospitalized.

SANAA, Yemen

Attack on hideouts kills one of most wanted militants

Yemen said Sunday that it killed one of the country’s most wanted al-Qaida militants, hours after military officials said anti-terrorism units supported by army troops and U.S. drones launched an attack against hideouts of the group in the mountainous Arhab region north of Sanaa, leaving five militants and six soldiers killed.

The statement by the defense ministry didn’t provide details on where or when Saleh al-Tays was killed. The military has targeted Al-Tays with operations and airstrikes before. He had been suspected to have been killed before in targeted attacks, including in U.S. drone strikes in 2013, 2008 and 2009.

The statement said al-Tays was involved in the assassination of a Yemeni politician earlier this year, and in killing foreign diplomats and Yemeni civilians.


Wildfire in canyon putting damper on holiday tourism

Officials said Sunday that they were slowly making progress in controlling a wildfire burning in a northern Arizona canyon that typically would draw many visitors over the Memorial Day weekend.

The fire covered 21 square miles and is 10 percent contained, up from 5 percent the day before.

The Slide Fire has grown in the last two days as crews set fires to rob the blaze of its natural forest fuels.

The human-caused fire has been burning since Tuesday around Oak Creek Canyon, a scenic recreation area along the highway between Sedona and Flagstaff that would normally be filed with tourists as Memorial Day approaches. Slide Rock State Park, one of the most-visited tourist spots in Arizona, has been closed.

The goals for fire managers are to protect the 300 structures threatened in Oak Creek Canyon, keep the fire from pushing into the communities of Forest Highlands and Kachina Village to the east, and minimize the potential for flooding.

– From news service reports